We report superconducting fluxonium qubits with coherence times largely limited by energy relaxation and reproducibly satisfying T2 > 100 microseconds (T2 > 300 microseconds in onedevice). Moreover, given the state of the art values of the surface loss tangent and the 1/f flux noise amplitude, coherence can be further improved beyond 1 millisecond. Our results violate a common viewpoint that the number of Josephson junctions in a superconducting circuit — over 100 here — must be minimized for best qubit coherence. We outline how the unique to fluxonium combination of long coherence time and large anharmonicity can benefit both gate-based and adiabatic quantum computing.

Vacuum fluctuations fundamentally affect an atom by inducing a fnite excited state lifetime along with a Lamb shift of its transition frequency. Here we report the reverse effect: modifcationof vacuum by a single atom in circuit quantum electrodynamics. Our one-dimensional vacuum is a long section of a high wave impedance (comparable to resistance quantum) superconducting transmission line. It is directly wired to a transmon qubit circuit. Owing to the combination of high impedance and galvanic connection, the transmon’s spontaneous emission linewidth can greatly exceed the discrete transmission line modes spacing. This condition defines a previously unexplored superstrong coupling regime of quantum electrodynamics where many vacuum modes hybridize with each other through interactions with a single atom. We explore this regime by spectroscopically measuring the positions of over 100 consecutive transmission line resonances. The atom reveals itself as a broad peak in the vacuum’s density of states (DOS) together with the Kerr and cross-Kerr interaction of photons at frequencies within the DOS peak. Both dispersive effects are well described by a dissipative Caldeira-Leggett model of our circuit, with the transmon’s quartic anharmonicity treated as a perturbation. Non-perturbative modifications of such a vacuum, including inelastic scattering of single photons, are expected upon replacing the transmon by more anharmonic circuits, with broad implications for simulating critical dynamics of quantum impurity models.

The superconducting fluxonium circuit is an artificial atom with a strongly anharmonic spectrum: when biased at a half flux quantum, the lowest qubit transition is an order of magnitudesmaller in frequency than those to higher levels. Similar to conventional atomic systems, such a frequency separation between the computational and noncomputational subspaces allows independent optimizations of the qubit coherence and two-qubit interactions. Here we describe a controlled-Z gate for two fluxoniums connected either capacitively or inductively, with qubit transitions fixed near 500 MHz. The gate is activated by a microwave drive at a resonance involving the second excited state. We estimate intrinsic gate fidelities over 99.9% with gate times below 100 ns.

We analyze the coupling of two qubits via an epitaxial semiconducting junction. In particular, we consider three configurations that include pairs of transmons or gatemons as well asgatemon-like two qubits formed by an epitaxial four-terminal junction. These three configurations provide an electrical control of the interaction between the qubits by applying voltage to a metallic gate near the semiconductor junction and can be utilized to naturally realize a controlled-Z gate (CZ). We calculate the fidelity and timing for such CZ gate. We demonstrate that in the absence of decoherence, the CZ gate can be performed under 50 ns with gate error below 10−4.

Quantum control of atomic systems is largely enabled by the rich structure of selection rules in the spectra of most real atoms. Their macroscopic superconducting counterparts havebeen lacking this feature, being limited to a single transition type with a large dipole. Here we report a superconducting artificial atom with tunable transition dipoles, designed such that its forbidden (qubit) transition can dispersively interact with microwave photons due to the virtual excitations of allowed transitions. Owing to this effect, we have demonstrated an in-situ tuning of qubit’s energy decay lifetime by over two orders of magnitude, exceeding a value of 2 ms, while keeping the transition frequency fixed around 3,5 GHz

In circuit quantum electrodynamics, an artificial „circuit atom“ can couple to a quantized microwave radiation much stronger than its real atomic counterpart. The celebratedquantum Rabi model describes the simplest interaction of a two-level system with a single-mode boson field. When the coupling is arbitrary large, the bare multilevel structure of a realistic circuit atom cannot be ignored even if the circuit is strongly anharmonic. We explored this situation theoretically for flux (fluxonium) and charge (Cooper pair box) type multi-level circuit atoms at maximal frustration and identified which spectral features of the quantum Rabi model survive and which are renormalized for arbitrary large coupling. We provide a quantitative comparison with the ideal quantum Rabi model by inspecting not only the circuit energy level spectrum, but also the entanglement spectrum. Despite significant renormalization of the low-energy energy spectrum in the fluxonium case, the key quantum Rabi feature — nearly-degenerate vacuum consisting of an atomic state entangled with a multi-photon field — appears in both circuits when the coupling is sufficiently large. Like in the quantum Rabi model, for very large couplings the entanglement spectrum is dominated by only two, nearly equal eigenvalues, in spite of the fact that a large number of bare atomic states are actually involved in the ground state. We interpret the emergence of the vacuum degeneracy in both circuits as an environmental suppression of flux/charge tunneling due to their dressing by virtual low-/high-impedance photons in the resonator. For flux tunneling, the dressing is nothing else than the shunting of a Josephson atom with a large capacitance of the resonator. Suppression of charge tunneling appears to have the same origin as the dynamical Coulomb blockade of transport in tunnel junctions connected to resistive leads.